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Japan Cultural and Yoga Holiday

See a peaceful old-world Japan while staying in a 5-star traditional Ryokan on this incredible yoga retreat led by Naomi Hayama. You will walk through the beautiful Kiso valley during the cherry blossom season, visit waterfalls and rural villages, meditate in a Japanese temple, try your hand at calligraphy, and relax in Onsen hot spring spa baths.

Meet the instructors

Naomi
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Highlights

  • A full week of yoga classes
  • Yoga and meditation in a traditional Japanese temple
  • Guided walks through the Kiso valley and along the Nakasendo trail
  • Cultural workshops like chopstick making and calligraphy
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • A full body massage

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles


9 days with instruction
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00
Check-out Time:
09:30

There will be two accommodations for you. The first night you will spend in the Park Tokyo Hotel, then you will move to a ryokan in Kiso.

The retreat center in Japan is a luxury Ryokan (a traditional Japanese Inn) surrounded by the old-world vistas of Japan that the Kiso Valley is known for. This 5-star Ryokan features indoor and outdoor therapeutic mineral springs, communal spaces both inside and out where guests can relax and take in the beautiful views, rooms with woven-straw flooring, traditional Japanese furniture, and futon mats.

The modern, elegant rooms are all en suite. They have traditional Japanese furniture, living areas with sofas and tables, as well as terraces with garden views. Rooms with tatami floors, futons, and chabudai dining tables are available. Upgraded rooms have open-air baths on the balcony.

You can reserve 4 types of en suite rooms on this retreat:

  • Standard Japanese room – up to 2 people (can be reserved as single occupancy)
  • Japanese room with semi-open-air bath – up to 2 people (can be reserved as single occupancy)
  • Large Japanese room with open-air bath – up to 4 people (perfect for couples or a small group of friends)
  • Large deluxe Japanese room with open-air bath – up to 4 people (perfect for couples or a small group of friends)

There will also be 1 night in Park Tokyo Hotel included in the package.

Program

Overview

Bluerise Retreats is so excited about this wonderful Japanese retreat in the heart of the stunning Kiso valley during cherry blossom season. See the old-world vistas of Japan that the Kiso valley is known for, take inspiring yoga classes with Naomi Hayama, and enjoy life in a 5-star traditional Ryokan with it’s Onsen hot spring spa, delicious food, and on-site massages.

You will begin your 9-day magical journey together in Tokyo, where you will meet, dine and have one night in the Park Hotel Tokyo, to have the opportunity to see Tokyo and give your body time to rest. The next day after breakfast you will take the train together through stunning scenery, via Nagano, before arriving at your retreat center in the Kiso valley. There will be guided walking on beautiful trails on most days of the retreat, a few fun workshops (calligraphy, soba noodle, and chopstick making), and inspirational yoga classes twice daily (before breakfast and dinner). All activities are optional.

Your very lovely and experienced and instructor for this retreat, Naomi Hayama, will guide you through an inspiring week of classes. Specializing in Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation, Naomi also interweaves Vinyasa Flow, Restorative yoga, Yin yoga, and somatic movements.

She will introduce you to wonderful relaxation and meditation practices that will help you to feel relaxed and focused. You will also learn refined elements of yoga such as pranayama (energy/breathing techniques), Nada yoga (vibration/sound), and Mudras (seal/gestures). Her creative classes will have you feeling balanced and energized.

Schedule

Day 1

  • Travelling day
  • From 15:00 - Check in at Tokyo Park Hotel (under ‘Bluerise Retreats’)
  • 18:00 - Meet and Greet in the hotel lobby
  • 19:30 - Dinner together at a great nearby restaurant

Day 2

  • 08:30 - Breakfast
  • 10:30 - Meet in the hotel lobby and forward main luggage to the retreat center
  • 11:24 - Take the train and see the sights together from Tokyo to Nagano
  • Light lunch on the train (for a taste of typical Japanese culture)
  • 12:52 - Arrive at Nagano
  • 13:00 - Take the train together from Nagano to Kiso
  • 14:33 - Arrive at Kiso
  • 15:00 - Private transfer to the retreat center
  • 15:30 - Arrive at your Ryokan and check-in
  • Healthy refreshments available
  • Onsen hot spring baths and relaxing time
  • 18:00-19:15 - Restorative and Yin Yoga
  • 19:30 - Dinner

Day 3

  • 07:00-08:00 - Energising yoga practice
  • 08:30 - Breakfast
  • Collect your main luggage from the lobby
  • Massages, Onsen hot springs, and free time to relax
  • 11:30 - Nice easy hike in the surrounding area
  • Picnic in nature on the way
  • 13:30 - Return to the Ryokan
  • 14:00 - Calligraphy workshop (optional)
  • Massages, Onsen hot springs, and free time to relax
  • 16:30 - Healthy smoothie/fresh juices available
  • 18:00 - 19:15 - Restorative and Yin Yoga
  • 19:30 - Dinner

Day 4

  • 07:00-08:00 - Energising yoga practice
  • 08:30 - Breakfast
  • 09:30 - Taxi to Kiso
  • Sightseeing in beautiful Kiso
  • 12:00 - Lunch at the Old Town (at own expense)
  • Local craftwork shopping and public footbath
  • 14:30 - Kozenji Temple for a Restorative and Yin yoga session with meditation in the temple
  • 16:00 - Taxi back to the Ryokan
  • Refreshments available on arrival
  • Massages, Onsen hot springs, and free time to relax
  • 19:30 - Dinner

Day 5

  • 07:00-08:00 - Energising yoga practice
  • 08:30 - Breakfast
  • 09:00 - Taxi to Magome (1.5 hours)
  • Hike day (including lunch) along the incredible Nakasendo trail
  • 15:00 Return to Ryokan by taxi
  • Refreshments available on arrival
  • 18:00-19:15 - Restorative and Yin yoga
  • 19:30 - Dinner

Day 6

  • 07:00-08:00 - Energising yoga practice
  • 08:30 - Breakfast
  • 09:30 - Private transfer to Kiso culture center
  • Japanese culture day (including lunch) at a wonderful center in Kiso
  • Chopstick making and Soba noodle making workshops
  • 16:00 - Private transfer back to the Ryokan
  • Refreshments available on arrival
  • 18:00-19:15 - Restorative and Yin yoga
  • 19:30 - Dinner

Day 7

  • 07:00-08:00 - Energising yoga practice
  • 08:30 - Breakfast
  • 09:00 - Transfer to Otaki village by bus
  • Hike to Satomiya Shrine and sacred waterfalls
  • Picnic in nature on the way
  • 15:30 - Transfer back to the Ryokan by bus
  • Refreshments available on arrival
  • 18:00-19:15 - Restorative and Yin yoga
  • 19:30 - Dinner

Day 8

  • 08:30 - Breakfast
  • 09:30 - Private transfer to Kiso train station
  • 11:04 - Train to Yabuhara
  • 11:20 - Hike through beautiful scenery to Narai
  • Stopping for lunch and sightseeing on the way (lunch at own expense – approximately 2000 JPY)
  • 15:25 - Train from Narai to Kiso
  • 16:00 - Private transfer back to the Ryokan
  • Refreshments available on arrival
  • 18:00-19:15 - Restorative and Yin yoga
  • 19:30 - Dinner

Day 9

  • 07:00-08:00 - Energising yoga practice
  • 08:30 - Breakfast
  • 09:30 - Check out and taxi to Kiso Station
  • 10:30 - Depart for your next destination
  • Travelling day

The hike

Experience guided walks through the stunning Kiso valley during the cherry blossom season. The gentle half-day hikes last 2-4 hours (including stopping for lunch) with plenty of time to take in the beautiful views. On your hikes, you will visit some wonderful rural villages along the Nakasendo trail.

No prior fitness level is required. All hikes are optional.

Included excursions

  • Calligraphy workshop
  • Japanese culture day in Kiso (chopstick making and soba noodle making workshops)
  • Guided hike along Nakasendo trail and Kiso Valley

Instructors

Naomi Hayama

Retreat location

This holiday will start in Tokyo, then you will travel to Kiso Valley. The Kiso Valley (木曽路, Kisoji) is located in Nagano Prefecture, and runs alongside the mountains of the Central Alps in Japan.

From the early 1600s until the late 1800s, the Nakasendo (“path through mountains”) served as a vital travel artery, connecting Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo). 70 km of this ancient trade route ran through Kiso along with 11 of it’s ‘post towns’; from Magome in the south to Niekawa in the north. Restrictions enforced by the shogunate in the 17th and 18th centuries meant that travelers had to make their trip on foot, which lead to the development of post towns every few kilometers to provide travelers with places to eat and rest.

Along the Kiso Valley, a few post towns, particularly Magome, Tsumago and Narai, have been incredibly well preserved to look as they did when they served travelers of the Nakasendo. On your walks, through the Kiso valley, you will be able to enjoy the stone paths and traditional wooden Japanese buildings of a bygone era.

Some Kiso facts:

  • The Kiso Valley is bordered by the Central Alps to the east and Mt Ontake to the west
  • The wooden products you find for sale around Kiso are made from top quality hinoki cypress; prized by emperors, it will last for centuries
  • The Ontake faith is a blend of Shinto, esoteric Buddhism, and ancient shamanic practices
  • At 3,067 meters, Mt Ontake is Japan’s second-highest volcano after Mt Fuji

This Yoga Retreat is vegetarian-friendly

Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats

Food

The quality of the food on Bluerise retreats is very important to the team. You will enjoy healthy, nutritional vegetarian meals carefully chosen by their local chef to complement the retreat perfectly. The food will be absolutely delicious and mostly vegetarian or vegan but you can opt for fish or meat when booking your retreat. Please inform Bluerise Retreats your dietary requirement when booking. They use organic and local produce where possible.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Organic
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Spa treatments

There will be 1 full body massage included in the package.

What's included

  • A full body massage
  • 1 night at the Park Hotel Tokyo
  • 7 nights accommodation in a 5-star traditional Japanese Ryokan in the Kiso valley
  • Healthy and delicious meals (breakfast, most lunches (lunch at local restaurants at your own expense on 3 occasions), and dinner)
  • A full week of yoga classes
  • Guided walks through the Kiso valley and along the Nakasendo trail
  • A calligraphy workshop
  • Yoga and meditation in a traditional Japanese temple
  • An optional visit to the Kiso culture center to learn about Japanese traditions and take part in fun workshops like chopstick making
  • All travel between Tokyo and the retreat center

What's not included

  • Flight
  • Airport transfers
  • Everything else not mentioned in the inclusion

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 31% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
9 days / 8 nights
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Availability

Arrival: Monday April 18, 2022
Departure: Tuesday April 26, 2022

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